Green Team: National Poison Prevention Week


More than 2 million poisonings are reported each year to the 61 Poison Control Centers across the United States. Over 90% of these poisonings occur at home. More than 50% of over two million exposure incidents each year involve children under six and 40% of those cases involve a child under three years of age.

March 19-25, 2017 is Poison Prevention Week in the United States. We can all take some quick and easy steps to keep our children safe from these dangerous everyday household items.

A survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding pesticide use in and around the home revealed that almost half (47%) of all households with children under the age of 5 had at least one pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet, and less than 4 feet off the ground. The survey also found that 75% of households without children under the age of 5 also stored one pesticide within reach of children. This number is especially significant because 13% of all pesticide poisonings occur in homes other than the child’s home. Adults should take the following steps to safeguard children from exposures to pesticides:

  • Always store pesticides away from children’s reach, in a locked cabinet or garden shed.
  • Read the label first and follow the directions to the letter, including all precautions and restrictions.
  • Before applying pesticides (indoors and outdoors), remove children and their toys from the area and keep them away until it is dry or as recommended by the label.
  • Never leave pesticides unattended when you are using them – not even for a few minutes.
  • Never transfer pesticides to other containers – children may associate certain containers with food or drink.
  • Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
  • Alert others to the potential hazard, especially grandparents and caregivers.


EPA allows safer products to carry the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. This mark enables consumers to quickly identify and choose products that can help protect the environment and are safer for families.  The DfE logo on a product means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient for potential human health and environmental effects and that—based on currently available information, EPA predictive models, and expert judgment—the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class.

Product manufacturers who become DfE partners, and earn the right to display the DfE logo on recognized products, have invested heavily in research, development and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product line up on the green end of the health and environmental spectrum while maintaining or improving product performance.

Link to DfE products: